O’Dowd approves Kilrea school merger

Minister John O'Dowd.
Minister John O'Dowd.

Education Minister John O’Dowd has approved the amalgamation of two maintained post-primary schools in rural south Derry.

The amalgamation of St Mary’s College, Clady and St Paul’s College, Kilrea will take effect upon or before the completion of a new building.

Commenting on the decision, Mr O’Dowd said: “This proposal will consolidate post-primary provision in south Derry, creating one sustainable school capable of meeting the educational needs, aptitudes, interests and aspirations of pupils in the area up to GCSE and post-16.

“The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools as the managing authority will implement the amalgamation upon completion of the new school building or sooner if possible.”

A capital scheme for the new school building will be subject to the normal processes for identifying schools to go forward in planning. It will require the completion and approval of an economic appraisal and will be subject to affordability.

The Minister reduced the proposed admission and enrolment number taking account of the projected need for places and the historical actual enrolments at the schools.